Waterboarding Is Torture
Post Columnist Eugene Robinson has been a constant voice going back well into the Bush Administration in declaring that waterboarding is torture. President Obama said the same thing at his news conference last night. However, as Robinson points out in PostPartisan, the president did not say what, if anything, he plans to do about it.
Our Readers Who Comment mostly agree and several want something done -- a prosecution, a Truth Commission, whatever, but something. A few do not. But it is an unusually intelligent conversation about a subject that doesn't look like it's going away.
The high quality of comments on Robinson's take stand in sharp contrast to the sometimes uncivilized remarks that accompany the story about the president's news conference.
victorponelis wrote, "What's next? Hopefully no prosecutions. While this is probably strange to hear coming from an Obama supporter, the distraction in Washington that prosecutions would create would detract from the serious business upon which the Administration, and Congress, SHOULD focus..."
But solsticebelle said, "I have lost almost all respect for Obama over the way he's tried to sweep torture under the rug via his constant "look forward" garbage. I will lose what little respect I have left if he continues to talk about of both sides of his mouth by making unequivocal statements against torture on the one hand and then on the other hand refusing to hold anyone in BushCo accountable..."
yarbrougharts observed that "What Obama clearly failed to answer, in fact he evaded as hard as one can (and there was a direct question) to whether any laws were broken. An equal inference can be drawn to a conclusion(in Obama's mind) that Bush's Torture was ethically and morally wrong, waterboarding indeed being torture without any laws being broken and not warranting any investigations into lawlessness. Pretty Sad."
chrisfox8 wrote, "...the investigation needs to proceed. Whether or not those who gave the orders go to prison is a separate matter but if they remain among us they need to be shamed. But... what comes out next is what they were seeking, which was the manufacture of an Iraq-Al Qaida connection, and what comes next is the ginning up of the Iraq invasion we did not need to wage..."
hypocritebuster said, "...I think Obama is being pretty smart. He doesn't want to spend any political capital by taking the lead on something as sensitive and divisive a criminally investigating the previous administration. He already has too many fish to fry..."
To which ifthethunderdontgetya replied, "Sorry hypocritebuster, but if we are going to have change, the most important part of that is changing back to a nation that respects the law. So yeah, we are going to have to investigate and prosecute the torture we have done, politically expedient or not."
RaymondTAnderson wrote, "...If Obama wants to be remembered as a second Lincoln, he will make a moral choice that offends many Americans but will bring out country another step closer to justice for all. If he doesn't have the courage of our last Illinois president, he can go down in history as a second Ford, too eager to move on that he leaves the nation's wounds unhealed."
stevel1 said, "What Obama thinks about holding torturers responsible doesn't matter. Either Congress or the Justice Dept will make the decision in the end. Torture is against the law. Waterboarding is torture, therefore anyone who engaged in it or enabled it is guilty of a crime. WHY they did it may mitigate at sentencing but it doesn't negate the crime..."
jfern03wrote, "...We do have to investigate and prosecute where appropriate. Otherwise, we are not who we say or who we think we are as a people and a nation. The beacon of democracy and freedom cannot be sending the message to do as we say, not as we do."
rinpochet said, "It really doesn't matter what Obama says on the matter. This is up to a separate branch of government; the judicial branch. It is up to [Attorney General Eric] Holder to either investigate or get a special prosecutor to do the job...The justice department has no choice in the matter. That is if oaths of office are taken seriously."
Hg80 wrote, "The very least that should be done is to disbar the lawyers who wrote the torture memos -- Most lawyers respect precedent and it would hopefully deter lawyers in the future from repeating such folly. Isn't there a law against writing a legal opinion that is just obvious BS?"
We'll close with this creative suggestion from langs13: "If the Republican party was smart they would be the one's leading the brigade to prosecute the Bush admin. It's there last chance to break from the Bush year's. Seems to me the Republican party will go down as the Anti-American party..."
All comments appear at the end of Robinson's commentary.
April 30, 2009; 6:50 AM ET
Categories: Obama , Torture , Waterboarding | Tags: Obama, Torture, Waterboarding
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